Medicine at Ground Level: Digitizing State Medical Journals with the Medical Heritage Library

As part of its partnership with the Medical Heritage Library, the Historical Medical Library (HML) of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has completed a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded initiative Medicine at Ground Level: State Medical Societies, State Medical Journals, and the Development of American Medicine1900-2000. 


The Medical Heritage Library has released 3,907 state medical society journal volumes free of charge for nearly 50 state medical societies, including those for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, through the Internet Archive ( The journals – collectively held and digitized by Medical Heritage Library founders and principal contributors The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine; The New York Academy of Medicine Library; the Library and Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California at San Francisco; the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health; the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library at Columbia University and Columbia University Libraries; and content contributor the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Founding Campus, with supplemental journal content provided by the Brown University Library, the Health Sciences Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System, and UT Southwestern Medical Center Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center –  consist of almost three million pages that can be searched online and downloaded in a variety of formats.

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A Collaboratively Created Corpus: Digitizing the State Medical Society Journals

Starting in March 2015, the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (HML) embarked on its second large scale digitization project. Under grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arcadia Foundation, and in conjunction with our partners at the Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative, we are working to digitize the entirety of State Medical Society Journals published in the US throughout the 20th Century.

The culmination of the project will be over 2.5 million pages of fully searchable digitized content. Patrons will be able to access this material through the MHL, as well as the Internet Archive, whose facilities in Princeton will be doing the digitization. This will be the first time that all of this content will be available in one place, either in print or digitally.

State Medical Society Journals
A selection of State Medical Society Journals on the shelf in our stacks.

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